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1.  Technical, Anatomical, and Functional Study after Removal of a Symptomatic Cavernous Angioma Located in Deep Wernicke's Territories with Cortico-Subcortical Awake Mapping 
Introduction. The subcortical region underneath Wernicke's area (WA) is a critical crossing of the eloquent language pathways involved in all semantic, phonological, syntactic, and working memory elaboration. We report the resection of a CA located underneath the dominant WA discussing the functional and anatomical evidence provided by fMRI, dissections with Klingler's technique, and intraoperative mapping during awake surgery. Case Report. A 64-year-old right-handed female affected by daily complex focal seizures underwent f-MRI, showing language activations in the middle and inferior temporal gyri and an unusual free entry zone in the “classical” WA. The cortical intraoperative mapping partially confirmed the f-MRI results, and we approached the lesion directly through WA. Subcortical DES allowed the identification of the eloquent language pathways and the radical resection of the perilesional gliotic rim. The patient did not report deficits and she is seizures and drug free after 1-year surgery. Discussion. Cortical DES demonstrated the variability of the eloquent areas within the cortex of the dominant temporal lobe. The subcortical DES confirmed the crucial role in language elaboration and the anatomical course of the bundles underneath WA. Conclusions. Awake surgery with DES represents a reliable and dynamic technique also for safer and functional-customized resection of CAs.
PMCID: PMC3707287  PMID: 23864972
2.  Angioplasty in acute middle cerebral artery stroke due to atrial fibrillation selected by CT perfusion: a case report 
We report the experience of a case of acute stroke in a patient affected by Rendu Osler syndrome and atrial fibrillation. The combination of dynamic computerized tomography perfusion scans and the use of a high-compliance balloon allowed increasing the treatment window for intra-arterial recanalization over 6 h after stroke onset in a patient with middle cerebral artery occlusion.
PMCID: PMC3120651  PMID: 21645340
3.  Spontaneous and idiopathic chronic spinal epidural hematoma: two case reports and review of the literature 
European Spine Journal  2009;18(11):1555-1561.
Spinal epidural hematoma (SEH) represents the most frequent entity of acute or chronic spinal bleeding. Based upon pathogenesis, SEH can be classified as idiopathic, spontaneous, and secondary. The idiopathic forms are considered not to be attributed to any specific risk factors. Spontaneous SEH, accounting for 0.3–0.9% of all spinal epidural space occupying lesions, instead is associated with risk factors (such as substantial soft trauma or coagulation abnormalities). The chronic form, as our literature review revealed, is the rarest and its most frequent location is the lumbar spine. The pathophysiology of spontaneous and idiopathic SEH is still under debate: There are only a few reports in literature of chronically evolving SEH with progressively increasing pain and neurological impairment. Magnetic resonance imaging may be inconclusive for differential diagnosis. Here, we present two cases of lumbar chronic SEH with slow, progressive, and persistent lumbar radicular impairment. The first patient reported a minor trauma with slight back contusion and thus was classified as spontaneous SEH. In the second case not even a minor trauma was involved, so we considered it to be idiopathic SEH. In both cases preoperative blood and coagulation tests were normal and we did not find any other or co-factors in the patients’ clinical histories. MR imaging showed uncertain spinal canal obstructing lesions at L3 and L4 level in both cases. Surgical treatment allowed a correct diagnosis and resulted in full clinical and neuroradiological recovery after 1 year follow-up. Our aim is to discuss pathogenesis, clinical and radiological features, differential diagnosis and treatment options, on the background of relevant literature review.
PMCID: PMC2899401  PMID: 19859747
Spontaneous; Idiopathic; Chronic; Hematoma; Epidural; Spinal
4.  Chlamydophila pneumoniae Infection and Its Role in Neurological Disorders 
Chlamydophila pneumoniae is an intracellular pathogen responsible for a number of different acute and chronic infections. The recent deepening of knowledge on the biology and the use of increasingly more sensitive and specific molecular techniques has allowed demonstration of C. pneumoniae in a large number of persons suffering from different diseases including cardiovascular (atherosclerosis and stroke) and central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Despite this, many important issues remain unanswered with regard to the role that C. pneumoniae may play in initiating atheroma or in the progression of the disease. A growing body of evidence concerns the involvement of this pathogen in chronic neurological disorders and particularly in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Monocytes may traffic C. pneumoniae across the blood-brain-barrier, shed the organism in the CNS and induce neuroinflammation. The demonstration of C. pneumoniae by histopathological, molecular and culture techniques in the late-onset AD dementia has suggested a relationship between CNS infection with C. pneumoniae and the AD neuropathogenesis. In particular subsets of MS patients, C. pneumoniae could induce a chronic persistent brain infection acting as a cofactor in the development of the disease. The role of Chlamydia in the pathogenesis of mental or neurobehavioral disorders including schizophrenia and autism is uncertain and fragmentary and will require further confirmation.
PMCID: PMC2825657  PMID: 20182626
5.  Multiple Sclerosis and HERV-W/MSRV: A Multicentric Study 
We designed a large multicentric study to analyse the presence of MSRV particles in blood and CSF of a large cohort of patients and controls from different European areas. 149 MS patients and 153 neurological and healthy controls were selected from Sardinia, Spain, Northern-Italy and Sweden. To avoid biological and inter-assay variability MSRV was detected within a single laboratory through nested and real-time PCR assays specific for pol and env genes. MSRV detection in blood and CSF of MS patients and controls in populations of different ethnicity gave significant differences (p<0.05 compared to neurological controls and <0.001 compared to healthy controls). The presence and viral load of MSRV are significantly associated with MS as compared to neurological and healthy controls in all ethnic groups.
PMCID: PMC3614662  PMID: 23675056
human endogenous retrovirus; HERV-W; MSRV; multiple sclerosis

Results 1-5 (5)